“Brianna Bells, age 15, freshman at Carter High.”
I nodded. That was me. That was already a known fact between the two of us, so why did she have to repeat it? Like she had an entire file on me. Like they do at the doctors. Like she had many other appointments today. I hadn’t come with an appointment-I just felt the need to talk to someone, so I came. I didn’t plan on it, but somehow she did. When I woke up this morning, I didn’t know I was going to drop by here. But when I did, she was already ready to deal with my problems, my situations, my life. I’m not being selfish, but it was almost like she had taken a trip into my brain, and knew exactly what I was there for.
“How’s Tuft?” Grace asked. Tuft was our family’s cat, and I hate cats. Brady had asked my parents for a pet cat once, and the next week, there was a furry grey creature with little white stripes on its tail sitting in the living room. Once. He had asked once, a year ago, when he was 10. And my begging, convincing, and whining for a puppy for the past eight months had gotten me nothing but a dog calendar from the dollar store and a poster. So why did my parents respond to my little brother’s childish whims so soon? That was because Brady suffered from leukemia. If by suffered, you mean, having the “unfortunate disadvantage” of wanting what he wants when he wants it, then yes, he suffered from leukemia, but only barely.
A year with Tuft had gotten me seven scratches, three bites, and a zillion new reasons to hate the cat and my little brother. But Grace and Tuft somehow got along very well together. Somehow, Grace had convinced my parents to get me a dog, a mix of a Chihuahua and a beagle, Doodles. Somehow, Grace had become a friend of Brady’s. Somehow, Grace had made our dried backyard into an astonishing, blooming garden. Where ever Grace went, a “somehow” lingered. But the greatest somehow of Grace yet was one that entered our curious minds, before our mind accepted defeat and shut it in the locked door of the shadowy backs of our minds. It had only been a month since Grace had appeared on our neighborhood for the first time, and now she was trusted beyond our oldest relatives, knew everything about everyone, and no one knew how much of it she was told and how much of the information she just discovered for herself. Still, the faith in her never went lax.